House value is everything when you’re selling. There’s no point getting your house valued then ignoring all the ways to increase the asking price. When you’ve as many properties as we have, you know what matters to potential buyers. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to help you understand what add’s value to your home.
The Broad Strokes
1. Planning is everything. Commit plenty of time and resources to maximise your house value!
2. House values jump with proper staging, including cleaning, decluttering, repairs and so on.
3. The cleaner it is, the more valuable your house looks. We’ll go into detail a bit later.
4. Stand outside and check curb appeal. Make sure the driveway, walkways, mailbox and frontage are in top condition.
5. A pricey, but classy option to increase value: my house had an architect to produce precise, modern floor plans.
6. Don’t scrimp. Always use professionals, for everything from repairs to valuations.
7. Check air quality. Your nose is accustomed, so getting your house valued by a professional who can detect odours is critical.
8. Offer a warranty. A structural guarantee and an offer to pay for any major repairs for a specific period after sale reassures buyers.
9. If you’re a leasehold owner, check how long is left on the lease. If you can get it renewed, you’ll add a ton of value.
10. You should already have insurance, but double-check anyway.
11. Make sure your insurance is up to date. Buyers will appreciate the info and your insurer may offer a free valuation, which gives you extra pricing info.
12. If you were to move out today, how quickly could the buyer move in and settle down?
13. Secure your perimeter. Make sure outer walls or fences are structurally sound and have no holes or gaps.
14. Check the height of your perimeter, as well. Taller barriers improve privacy but may block light.
15. A well-planned and maintained garden is attractive and can add 10% to your house value. If you don’t want the work, consider a flower border.
16. Prioritise hardy perennials rather than exotics. Better to have a garden that looks nice year-round.
17. If your garden is large enough, plant trees. The value of the house can improve by 3% to 15%
18. Automated sprinklers keep your lawn and garden smart with minimal labour.
19. Add solar-powered lights to your back garden for ambience, and to your front garden for security.
20. Add a bench to your garden to improve value.
21. Remove dead flora before getting your house valued. It suggests you are negligent and do not put appreciate your home.
22. Consider turning your garden shed into a generator room, providing power backup for the house.
23. The garage door is one of your home’s most visible features. Repaint, repair or replace.
24. Converting your front garden into a parking space for one or more vehicles adds to house values. UK insurance companies love off-street parking, too.
25. Paint the house, inside and out (unless you’re going for the natural stone/brick look outside).
26. Paint window sills and door frames in a complementary colour.
27. Choose pleasant, neutral colours. Bold colours and shocking contrasts might seem fun, but they kill your house value.
28. Create space, visually. Add mirrors in hallways and declutter to give the illusion of more space.
29. Upgrade outdated appliances. New tech is quieter, cleaner, looks better and impresses buyers.
30. Energy-saving appliances increase value. Green is good, especially for millennials.
31. Clean your appliances, too. They’re not supposed to be the colour of coffee stains.
32. Consider quartz countertops. They’re a great alternative to granite, which stains and discolours.
33. Create extra storage space. Convert the cupboard under the stairs, put shelves in nooks, add discreet storage wherever you can.
34. Plants bring life and fresh air into the house. Don’t overdo it.
35. Hardwood floors must be clean and polished. It looks a lot better, adds value and slows deterioration.
36. Adding art increases the number in any house value calculator. Pick neutral pieces and place them strategically in the hallway and main living areas.
37. Bookshelves add storage space, but also look very homey and add to house values, both in real and psychological terms.
38. Repaint the stairs and stairways to inject a fresh feel.
39. Make the master bedroom look as comfortable as possible.
40. Deep clean before getting your house valued. That means involving professionals to take care of dust, mould, carpets and all those difficult-to-reach places.
41. Any house value calculator assumes regular maintenance. Letting any part of your house fall into disrepair decreases the value of your house and gives a terrible impression.
42. Improve your front door. It’s one of the first things visitors notices.
43. Your front door needs a house number.
44. Steel doors are more secure than old-school wooden options and increase house values. UK buyers are security-conscious.
45. A portico is an impressive addition to any home.
46. Make sure your doorbell works. Fix it or replace it with a knocker if it’s completely dead.
47. Repair or replace broken or damaged electrical sockets and fixtures.
48. Check your floors for cracks, chips or broken tiles.
49. Get rid of pests and vermin. Do we really need to explain how important this is when getting your house valued?
50. Your ceilings must be in tip-top shape in every room (except the attic). Valuers check ceilings and give points for good maintenance.
51. Fix unbalanced ceiling fans. Wobbles, noises and the impression that they’re going to fall and decapitate someone are not reassuring.
52. The bathroom and washroom(s) should have functional taps, proper ambient lighting and appropriate paintwork.
53. The kitchen is the centre of many family homes, so make sure yours is fully functional.
54. Inspect caulking and grouting. Replace any that shows signs of age or is cracked or mildewed.
55. Repair any problematic electrical wiring.
56. Clean the fuse board or box and label each fuse clearly.
57. Nothing hurts house value like a leaky roof. Get your roof inspected and repaired as a priority.
58. Good insulation commands much higher house values. UK energy ratings can be checked online.
59. Maintain the chimney. Get the chimney swept, clean the mantel and install a fireguard.
Additions and Changes
60. Add crown moulding to break the monotony of right-angled ceiling and wall joins.
61. Add base boarding. It looks nice and protects your walls from kicks and scuffs.
62. Add wainscoting to increase value. Be sure wainscoting suits the overall look of your home. Very classy.
63. Replace old doors. Pick the same ones for the whole house and make sure they open the right way!
64. Add USB ports to electrical sockets for all those mobile devices.
65. Replace old-school wooden shelves with modern glass or plexiglass shelves.
66. Install LED lighting in cabinets and closets.
67. Upgrade closets and wardrobes: if you can make your main closet a walk-in, you add a lot of value.
68. Get rid of the popcorn ceiling. Simple, flat designs are better than 1970s throwbacks.
69. Get a professional to install speakers and other entertainment equipment in the walls. It’s tidier, looks great and adds value.
70. Many millennials like having a laundry room upstairs. Add an energy-saving compact washing machine and dryer and your house value goes up.
71. Installing a water filtration system in the kitchen saves you buying bottled water and adds value, especially in hard water areas.
72. Low-flow toilets use considerably less water and add value, especially for environmentally conscious buyers.
73. Adding a bathroom or washroom boosts your house value. En-suite options can add a significant amount.
74. House value calculators bump prices for extra bedrooms. Convert the attic.
75. Or convert it into a playroom for the kids, or an office for a home business.
76. Convert a well-lit and well-aired basement into a workshop.
77. Or even a guest bedroom. How about a wine cellar?
78. Add decking or a porch to your garden, increasing your living space and making summer barbecues a very pleasant possibility.
79. A well-converted garage can increase the value of your house, especially if it is converted into living quarters or a bedroom.
80. The other room options also apply to garage value like a workshop, but a playroom or an office are also good choices.
81. Insulate the garage and attic if you’re converting them into living spaces.
82. Convert your roof space into extra storage and bump your house value up.
83. If your water supply is reliable, do away with the water tank and use the space for something else.
84. Future-proof your home by investing in modern options now. Upgrades that will still be relevant in 10-20 years can add a lot of value.
85. Going out of your way on security is a definite value multiplier. Consider CCTV cameras, motion detectors, security grilles and so on.
86. Rentals require smoke and fire detectors, with good reason. Make sure your home is safe.
87. Floor insulation improves the indoor climate and protects your floors. Seal gaps and plug draughts around the skirting.
Big Scary Options
88. Increase square footage by constructing an extension. Get planning permission first!
89. House value calculators love green technologies. The government often gives grants and discounts on energy efficiency upgrades.
90. Inspect, repair and replace old plumbing.
91. Eliminate walls to create more space. For example, go from a British to an American kitchen layout. Don’t knock down load-bearing walls!
92. Install central heating before getting your house valued. It saves energy and is easier to control.
93. Add a conservatory. Often surprisingly inexpensive to build and can significantly increase the value of a house.
94. Acquire more land. The more land you own, the more valuable your house is. If a neighbour is selling, consider buying and consolidating.
95. Swimming pools do not add enough value to make them worth adding. However, if you already have one, adding safety features can be a good boost.
96. If you have a garden, make it more accessible (visually and physically) by using a lot of glass – doors and windows. More glass also means more natural light, which is great for value addition.
97. If the parcel of land your house sits on is large enough, building a “guest house” can increase the value of your home by 30% to 40%.
98. House values in the UK tend to be higher when there’s a fireplace. With increasingly expensive utilities, a traditional fireplace or a wood-burning stove is a great alternative to more expensive heating options.
99. Underfloor heating is extremely energy efficient and incredibly comfortable in colder seasons. Easy to manage, very ecologically sound and a nice value addition.
100. Go very green by installing solar or wind power. You can heat water, generate electricity and even sell the excess power back to the utility companies.
101. Start from scratch. The most extreme option is to knock your house down and build a new one to your own specifications. Include future-proofing and renewable energy options to maximise the return on such a huge investment!
The next time you ask a professional “What’s the value of my house?”, be prepared to work through this checklist. Every item can add a little or a lot to your house value, but you’ll need to pick the ones that suit you, your property and your budget. Some are simple DIY projects, but others need professional help or you could end up doing more harm than good!